Riverboat Lavelle Young at Fairbanks, Alaska, 1904
Pen & Ink on Bristol Board, Image size 8.5"x 14"

The Lavelle Young was instrumental in the founding of Fairbanks. In 1901
E. T. Barnette planned to open a trading post where the Valdez-Eagle Trail crossed
the Tanana River. He chartered the Lavelle Young to take himself and supplies from
St. Michael on Norton Sound, up the Yukon and Tanana Rivers to that point.

When the boat could go no further because rapids on the Tanana, the captain tried
steaming up the Chena River, thinking it was a slough of the Tanana that might
circumvent the rapids. However, the Lavelle Young soon encountered shallow water on
the narrow river and the captain (much to Barnette's dismay) offloaded Barnette's
supplies on the banks of the Chena.

Meanwhile, Felix Pedro (credited with finding gold in the Fairbanks area) and his
partner, Tom Gilmore, were in the hills overlooking the Chena River. They saw the boat
offloading cargo on the riverbank, and made their way to that spot. They were able to
stock up on victuals and showed Barnette gold they had found in nearby creeks. Barnette decided the banks of the Chena River might not be such a bad place for a
trading post after all.

The drawing shows the Lavelle Young docked in front of Barnette's trading post (to the
left) and the newly constructed Northern Commercial Company store (directly
behind boat). The N.C. Company had bought out Barnette's business.